Monday, June 24, 2013

Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now: Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care

By Steven Z. Kussin

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is a great book full of great advice. Liked other readers, too, I enjoyed Kussin’s sense of humor. It made the reading even more delightful. In addition, his use of examples brilliantly buttresses his ideas, and his exhortations to readers in how to better care for themselves are exemplary — desperately needed.

I loved Kussin’s thesis: Patients need to take responsibility for their doctor’s care by questioning a doctor’s advice, seeking out additional information, and deciding the best approach regarding their care.

Any book designed to empower citizens/patients should be commended. This is an especially good one because Kussin combines his own experience (more than 30 years in practice) with excellent research (20 pages of notes, 2 pages of bibliography, and 9 pages of an appendix, "Best Medical Websites.").

I have three suggestions that will make this book more accessible for members of the general public: 1) Right now, paragraphs are long, and pages are dense and un-inviting. I would suggest making the paragraphs shorter so that when you turn to a page, it is not so daunting and intimidating.

The second suggestion follows directly from the first: 2) Divide the chapters into short sections and add section titles so that material can be read more quickly, and readers can stop reading at any point and take up where they left off in an easy manner. So often, reading is accomplished only in short spurts. Long sections tend to make short spurts difficult.

The third suggestion will also make the book more accessible and readable: 3) Add sections at the end of each chapter that summarize the major findings. Maybe an additional section, too, that would offer readers important points that they can learn or take away from chapters like: "Practical applications" or "Useful Tips."

The first section’s title, "War: The Battle of Medical Epistemologies," is an accurate title; however, it might tend to put off the average reader. The word "epistemology" could be replaced, for example, with the word "approaches" or "methods" even though, of course, these two words are not as accurate or specific (but more understandable) than the word they would replace.

The information in this book is superb and necessary, important and relevant, practical and specific. There is so much in this book, and if you have recently visited a doctor or hospital, you will immediately identify with Kussin’s material. Part V on "Hospital Dangers and How to Prevent Them" is a section that is not only valuable, it could even be life saving. This book should be put on your "MUST BUY" list: Read it and learn!


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